In rural Honduras, 6 out of 10 children never have the opportunity to learn past the sixth grade. Why? In a country where over 25% of the population is unemployed (much higher in rural areas): transportation, books, school supplies, and uniforms become difficult for parents to afford. For children who do attend secondary school (7-12th grade), these needs become barriers. As a result, many simply cannot afford to continue - leaving them with little chance of advancement beyond low-paying jobs.
Shoulder to Shoulder is working to break the multi-generational cycle of poverty by contributing to the education of hundreds of Honduran children. We seek partnerships so that our students can prosper, like including them in CREE's reading program, having them give back to their community through small projects and our newest partner - The Christine Merveil Never Back Down Foundation. For over a decade, we have successfully administered scholarships for the neediest students in a remote region of Honduras and we plan to continue supporting students for years to come. Read testimonies and about our impact below!
Proper health and education are key factors in the development of children and their ability to advance in society
Shoulder to Shoulder is working to break the multi-generational cycle of poverty by contributing to the education of Honduran children. For over a decade, we have successfully run a scholarship program for the neediest students in a remote region of Honduras. Thanks to the generosity of U.S. sponsors it has kept more than 1,850 students in school beyond 6th grade!
Principals, counselors, and teachers from each community carefully select each recipient. Scholarships are based on need and merit, meaning most children stay in the program through high school graduation. We currently have between 125-150 annual student beneficiaries. Continuing scholarships are contingent on the students’ academic performance.
Shoulder to Shoulder has been involved in the same region of Honduras for 30+ years, which is in contrast to many organizations that come and go. This region has been changed in a positive way thanks to the dedication and hard work of so many volunteers partnering with locals to improve the lives of the people in Intibucá.
As a part of our grandfathered scholarship program, our student received help from a dedicated donors to finish her high school and university studies. Below is her reflection,
"Life at the university taught me to be more independent in the sense that I had to be aware of my tasks and daily responsibilities. I always approached my teachers for advice when I didn't know which class to enroll in and they guided me so that my classes were in order. I am immensely grateful to you for having helped me fulfill one of my most cherished dreams. Without a doubt, finishing this stage of life has been one of the most beautiful things that I have ever experienced."
As a part of our grandfathered scholarship program, our student received help to finish his high school and university studies. Having graduated from a renowned university, Zamorano, he shares wisdom for other students,
"Despite the circumstances that may present themselves in life... persevere and with a little bit of ambition you can succeed. Because dreams do come true, but it is not a matter of having luck - rather of knowing how to utilize the opportunities that life gives us. Give the most of yourself every day in each task, because that is what can mark the difference from the rest. Thanks to your selfless help, now a young man with many aspirations has achieved one of the many goals in his life."
As part of a university accelerated program for older students, our scholarship student returned to finish high school in 1 year and work on a teaching degree. He will graduate in Dec 2023 after completing his practicum (see image above).
"I come from a humble family, I lost my mother when I was 4. With many sacrifices I graduated elementary school, but could not continue due to the cost. My scholarship relieves an economic burden and gives me security and self-confidence. I now participate in extracurricular activities and workshops that enrich my education and it marks a significant difference in my life and that of others, as we receive the gift of a transformative education. Your generosity demonstrates that there are opportunities within reach to those willing to work hard and overcome their adversities.